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The Differences between Flooring
Carpet, hardwood, and laminate – so many choices inducing many annoyances, I can’t stand it. And here, more to choose from like Sheet vinyl, linoleum, and luxury vinyl – an introductory course seems vital. I’d be remiss if I told you I understood all of this. Waterproof flooring to ceramics. Natural stone and mosaics all exist, then there’s porcelain tiles. There’s just too many styles! How can we decide? Possibly with some help I decried!
Have you ever thought that? Well, maybe not in a Dr. Seuss rhyme scheme. But we’re sure with the sheer amount of flooring products and the many different applications one particular product is better for over another, it can get confusing and overwhelming. This article is here to break down the many facets of the most popular flooring products that you’ll come across. The Differences between Flooring article will give you a better understanding of the differences, similarities, and what works best for your particular needs – so you don’t end up pulling your hair out and end up making the wrong decision. We have another article that you should read as well: The High Cost to ‘Free’ Installation. We will also be discussing the two main applications of flooring – Residential and Commercial..What to keep in mind
So where do we begin? Well, there are a few categories – The two most popular are residential and commercial. Then there’s industrial flooring (Which we will briefly go over, but not the purpose of this article). Where does your flooring job fall under? Then comes the daunting task of figuring out what kind of flooring works best for your needs, and then even more daunting – figuring out the style you like. Question 1 to ask yourself, are you shopping for flooring for your home or office/commercial?
The first thing to look at is the function of the space. How the space is used largely determines the type of flooring you necessitate. For commercial spaces the floors need to be durable, due to more traffic as well as more rugged conditions than the average home. Things to look at (keep in mind) when shopping for commercial flooring: strength and durability, cleaning and maintenance, any special requirements needed.
Strength and durability : Commercial spaces typically carry much more weight than the average home flooring. In a commercial building, there’s a lot more foot traffic. Additionally, commercial flooring will have more heavy objects laying on and being moved around (i.e. business equipment and office furniture). Therefore, the flooring made for a commercial space is meant to be strong enough to withstand this long-term wear-and-tear.
Cleaning and maintenance : Commercial flooring also needs to handle frequent cleanings. And usually the cleaning products are of an industrial grade with harsh chemicals. Synthetic flooring designed for commercial purposes can be cleaned repeatedly without wearing out or becoming damaged. Examples of flooring that would not be ideal for commercial use would be – wood or tile. It won’t hold up as well after years of daily scrubbings.
Special requirements : Commercial spaces can have unique considerations that commercial flooring can address. Many commercial spaces require sound-proofing, which specialized rubber or synthetic commercial flooring can provide. Additionally, commercial flooring is resistant to moisture, preventing rotting and bubbling in the flooring.
Now let’s get into the residential applications. Flooring for your home should be warm, inviting, reflect your personal taste as a homeowner and match the décor. When shopping for flooring try to stay away from the big box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) as the employees are usually not installers themselves, and are just sales people with limited knowledge. And in the end – are not any cheaper than an independently owned local flooring company, a lot of the time they’re more expensive. We highly recommend reading our article specifically on this topic called: The High Cost to ‘Free’ Installation. That article goes into great detail about why big box stores are not your best option.
So what should you keep in mind when shopping for flooring? Your budget, your personal taste and home décor, how much foot traffic you have in your home, what it takes to clean the floors, and the longevity of the floors.
Budget : This is very important as a first step. This will make it easier to narrow down exactly what to look at.
Personal Tastes and Home Décor : When looking at flooring think about what styles you like. Keep in mind what kind of décor you have in the home. We recommend taking pictures of the rooms you want to have the flooring installed, so when you go look at different products you have an exact reference to turn to. Also, this will help the flooring company get a better idea too! And they’ll be able to help in a much more direct manner. Also, most companies will allow you to take samples home to see how it looks. One thing to keep in mind, that a lot of customers don’t consider, is the lighting. Color temperature and the amount of light coming into the space can completely change how the flooring looks. It might even seem that the color is different.
Foot Traffic and Durability : Do you have kids, pets, and/or host a lot of get togethers? If so, you might want to consider something more durable. Some customers get commercial flooring installed in their homes for these reasons. You must take into account the amount of wear and tear on your floor.
Cleaning and Maintenance : No one likes a dirty floor. Also, no one likes having to clean. So, when looking at flooring it’s good to consider how easily it is to clean. Also, how the flooring will interact with certain cleaning products. Is it durable enough to withstand decades of scrubbing, cleaning and wiping?
Quickly let’s delve into the fact that you can use commercial flooring for your home. It depends on what activities go on in your home. Do you entertain a lot, do you have kids, pets, is there always a bunch of foot traffic going in and out of your home? Some homeowners do prefer commercial flooring because it can withstand that sort of abuse, and last longer. Also, it’s usually easier to clean. However, the choice is up to you and your budget.
A term you will see thrown around is “Floating Floor” installation. Simply, it means that there is no glue applied to the sub floor to attach the planks to. The planks are just laid on top. The term “floating floor” does not refer to a type of flooring material, but rather to a method of installation that can be used with a variety of materials, including laminates, engineered hardwood, and luxury vinyl flooring. With this type of installation, individual planks (or in some cases tiles) interlock edge-to-edge to form a single mat-like surface that simply rests on top of the subfloor. This installation type exists because it is easy, inexpensive, and easy to replace damaged planks..Different types of flooring, for different necessities
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of all the different types of flooring. Note that we’re not worrying about the different brands in this article. So, how many different types of flooring are there? Let’s go down the list of some of the most common types. There’s Carpet, Hardwood, Laminate, Vinyl, Sheet Vinyl, Linoleum, Luxury Vinyl, Ceramic, Porcelain Tiles, Waterproof products, Mosaics and Natural Stone. Phew, that’s a lot to analyze. Let’s jump down the rabbit hole!.Carpeting
Carpet is a textile based floor covering. It usually consists of two layers, the upper layer (called pile) which is attached to a pre woven lower layer. Carpets are usually made from wool, jute fiber or man made synthetic fiber. As technology continues to get better – there is always something new on the horizon. Keep in mind that there is a difference between carpets and rugs. Carpet is used wall to wall, where rugs are smaller in size and can be used here and there in the room.
There are two main construction types in regards to carpet and are defined by the way the carpet fibers are attached to their backing. There’s loop pile and cut pile. And within those two construction types there are several sub family piles.
Loop pile is when the fibers are bent into little loops. This is a very durable construction method and is stain resistant. However, it has a low profile with limited cushioning. Below is the other members of the loop pile family:
- Level Loop aka Berber is a type of carpet that features short loops that are more resilient in high traffic areas.
- Multi-Level Loop means the tops of the loops vary in height producing a patterned texture.
Cut pile carpets cut the yarn tips so there are no loops. Cut pile carpets are usually denser and softer than loop piles. There are several types of cut pile:
- Plush has an even, smooth texture with a formal appearance.
- Saxony has a smooth finish, but the fibers are longer and twisted to give each fiber more body. It’s popular, but the longer fibers mean footprints linger and furniture creates dents.
- Textured cut pile has fibers of uneven lengths to create a rougher surface texture.
- Frieze carpet has long fibers and isn’t recommended for high traffic areas. In its most extreme form, it’s known as shag carpet.
- Cable has long, thick fibers and is very comfortable underfoot.
Cut and loop is yet another type of carpet that has both cut pile and loop pile fibers and combines the best qualities of both. It’s good for hiding dirt and stains.
Now let’s talk about fibers. As we mentioned before carpets are usually made from various synthetic and natural fibers. The fibers used are Nylon, Olefin, Acrylic and Wool.
- Nylon is the most widely used fiber. It’s durable and resistant to wear and tear. However, it’s not good at fighting stains, so some varieties include a stain-resistant treatment.
- Olefin is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew and makes a good carpet for basements and outdoor areas. It’s more durable than nylon, but not as comfortable.
- Acrylic is used as an inexpensive alternative to wool. However, it’s not widely available.
- Wool is the premier carpeting, and the only natural fiber made into carpets. Wool is durable, stain-resistant, and it’s considered an eco friendly floor covering.
What about quality? How does one determine the quality of the product? First step – never believe the marketing material from the manufacturers, because there’s no universal grading for carpet quality. Instead look at the weight and density of the fibers. Weight will indicate to you how many fibers the carpet is made up of. More fibers make the carpet heavier. Which in turn makes it of higher quality. Density will indicate how many fibers make up the pile, and how close together the fibers are packed. The denser the better. Also, to test this, use your fingers and see if you can feel the carpet backing. If you can, that means the fibers are not packed densely..Hardwood
Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular styles of floor covering. And for good reason. It’s beautiful, adds a unique look and warmth to your home or office, and can add value to your home. When shopping for hardwood it is a good idea to know about the different ways it is constructed, how it is installed, the most popular species of wood used, the finishing and pre-finishing process, and the care and maintenance of hardwood floors.
The important factor to keep in mind when you’re looking at hardwood floors is understanding and knowing how they are constructed. There are a few different ways they are made: Engineered, Solid, and Longstrip Plank. These are the construction methods we will focus on.
- Engineered Hardwood – Engineered wood floors are generally manufactured with 2, 3, or 5 thin sheets or plies of wood that are laminated together to form one plank. These wood plies are stacked on top of each other but in the opposite directions. This is called cross-ply construction which creates a wood floor that is dimensionally stable and less affected by moisture than their solid wood counterpart. The advantage of cross-ply construction allows the plies to counteract each other, which will stop the plank from growing or shrinking with the changes in humidity. The other advantage for you is versatility. You can install these floors over concrete slabs in your basement as well as anywhere else in your home. Most engineered floors can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, or floated over a wide variety of sub-floors, including some types of existing flooring.
- Solid Wood – Solid wood floors are one solid piece of wood that have tongue and groove sides. The thing you must know about solid wood is the moisture factor. Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and because of that, they are used in nail down installations and are not recommended for installation below ground level, or directly over a concrete slab. Because they’re a natural product, hardwood flooring will expand and contract in response to seasonal changes in moisture. In the winter “heating” months, moisture leaves the wood causing the floor to contract, which creates larger than expected gaps between each plank. In the summer months, when the humidity is higher, the wood will expand and the gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle – which is not something you want. The good news is that these floors can be refinished, or recoated, several times, which adds to their appeal and to their long life in your home.
- Longstrip Plank – Longstrip plank floors are similar to engineered floors and have several wood plies that are glued together. The center core is generally a softer wood material and is used to make the tongue and groove. A hardwood finish layer is glued on top of the core. The top layer can be almost any hardwood species and is made up of many smaller individual pieces that are laid in three rows. Longstrip planks are approximately 86″ in length and 7 1/2″ in width. They generally have between 17 and 35 pieces that make up the top layer of each board. Longstrip planks are designed for the floating installation, but most can also be glued-down, or stapled down. Because these floors can be floated they are extremely versatile – they can go over a wide variety of sub-floors and on any grade level.
Now that you know about the different ways hardwood flooring is constructed, let’s talk about the most popular species of woods used and the Janka Rating (How hard is your wood). Right off the bat – what is a Janka Rating? It is the industry standard rating method to determine how hard the wood is. The Janka test measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball into the wood by half its diameter. This test is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. They literally drop the ball from multiple heights to figure this out. High tech stuff. But in all seriousness it is imperative to have this test and rating. The higher the number, the harder the wood. Brazillian Cherry is the hardest wood, with a rating of 2350. While the Red Oak (Industry median for hardness) is rated at 1290.
Okay, we got that out of way. Let’s talk about species. No not that horrible movie, but species of wood. The most popular are Oak, Maple, Hickory (Pecan), Bamboo (Which is actually grass, but can have the hardness of hardwood, is less expensive, and more eco-friendly), Brazillian Cherry, Brazillian Walnut, Pine, Douglas Fir, Heart Pine, Birch, Ash, American Cherry, American Walnut (Black Walnut), Teak, and Mohogonny. There are many, many more that are used for hardwood floors, but these are some of the most popular to just give you an idea. Your tastes, décor, budget, and needs will determine what species to purchase.
The finishing of hardwood floors is a process of sanding, staining, and sealing the wood. The difference between finish and pre-finish is that finish gets done on site, and pre-finish is done at the manufacturing plant. Pre-finish is the way to go. At the manufacturing level they do several coats of urethane with ceramic beads or aluminum oxide crystals and UV light. This allows the wood to be more durable, and less susceptible to dings and scratches. You can’t get that control with finish. Now there are advantages to finished wood, instead of pre-finish. When you finish the wood it completely seals the seams (where planks of wood meet), less sanding when you go to refinish, and it can be easier to repair. However, the reason pre-finished is the way to go besides the method used above, is that they use more powerful sealers which increases durability. It’s quicker, easier & cleaner to install. There’s less maintenance and you won’t have to refinish as much. And lastly, you get the beauty of hardwood with less hassle.
Now that your new hardwood floors are installed, how do you care for and maintain them? Glad you asked. One thing to remember is that wood absorbs so never use a mop. It will destroy the wood. And if something spills, try to immediately clean it up. Most hardwood floors now-a-days are finished with urethane. Some may also use oil for a more old world look. If you have floors finished with oil or urethane, never use wax. And if you have a urethane finish never put oil on it, and vice-versa.
If the floor is stained, use the appropriate stain remover for your type of hardwood. Never use ammonia based products or oily soaps. You can purchase any number of stain removers from us, that was made specifically for the flooring by the manufacturer. We recommend getting a good quality broom and sweeping your floor regularly to pick up grains of dirt, dust and other particles. A vacuum cleaner, without a beater bar, can be helpful in between planks and other hard to reach areas. Once dirt and grease are gone, buffing can help restore the glow and sheen of your hardwood floor. For finished hardwood floors, we recommend using a terry cloth mop with a rotating head that makes cleaning corners, under cabinets and along baseboards an easy task. Spray a professional wood floor cleaning product to safely remove tough stains and spills without dulling the finish of your floor. Manufacturers of “Pre-finished” hardwood floors recommend their own specific products designed for their floors routine maintenance.
All hardwood floors will fade, darken or change shades over time. Exposure to sunlight will greatly increase this process. Window treatments are recommended, as well as rotating area rugs and furniture regularly to allow floors to age evenly from UV exposure. Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against damage. Take care when moving heavy objects across your floor to avoid scuffing. If you have pets, regularly trim their nails or claws to avoid scratches on the hardwood floor. The point here is to be cautious of sharp objects that may scratch or damage the floor. Consistent upkeep and periodic professional maintenance will keep your hardwood flooring beautiful, inviting and durable for years to come..Laminate
Oh boy… Laminate! Simply broken down – Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Laminate is easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring. It may also have the advantages of costing less and requiring less skill to install than alternative flooring materials. It is reasonably durable, hygienic (several brands contain an antimicrobial resin), and relatively easy to maintain.
Some of the pros and cons of laminate are as follows: Pros – easy to clean, scratch-resistant, good for homes with pets and children, inexpensive relative to other types of floor coverings. Cons – moisture can swell the laminate base, chips easily, not suitable for bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Laminate floors are always installed as floating floors. Laminate floors install a lot like solid hardwood flooring. They both have a modified tongue-and-groove style of joining boards. However, unlike hardwood flooring, which typically requires professional installation, laminate floors are very easy for the do-it-yourselfer to install with only basic tools.
What else is there to say about laminate? Not much. That’s about it. See, this section wasn’t so bad. Now, we get to dive into Luxury Vinyl and Sheet Vinyl. This will be fun!.Vinyl (Luxury, Engineered and Sheet)
I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t linoleum be under this section?” Short answer, no. Often linoleum is lumped together with vinyl and vice-versa, but it is not accurate to do so. The only real similarity between the two is that they both can come in sheet form or tile form. After that they go their separate ways. We will discuss linoleum in the next section, but this section is only about vinyl.
Let’s get this out of the way – sheet vinyl. Sheet vinyl is vinyl flooring that comes in a large, continuous, flexible sheet. A vinyl sheet floor is completely impermeable to water. It comes on a giant roll. Since it is water resistant it is usually used in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Sheet vinyl is vinyl that has a pattern printed on top. Some of the more expensive sheet vinyl has more detail and texture to more accurately mimic hardwood, tile, etc. Vinyl is constructed of several different layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing.
The wearlayer (top layer) of vinyl is so important. It is critical to the performance, and key to its lasting durability. They measure the wearlayer in millimeters, which is a thousandth of an inch. The thicker the wearlayer the better. The more expensive sheet vinyl will have a thicker wearlayer.
When picking out sheet vinyl, it’s the density of the inner core that will help your floor resist rips, tears, gouges, and indentations. Also, the quality of the wearlayer, which is the actual surface layer of the floor, will determine how your floor will stand up to staining, scuffing and scratching. For example, a urethane wearlayer will help with stain resistance.
So what are some characteristics of sheet vinyl? It’s easy to clean, waterproof, stays looking like new, resists most staining from common household products, and doesn’t show scratches easily. The easy to clean characteristic relates to how tough it is to remove soiling and other marks from the floor’s surface. When a sheet vinyl floor begins to look old and worn, it’s usually caused by hundreds of fine hairline scratches in the wearlayer. These fine scratches come from dirt, grit and sand on the wearlayer surface. However there’s good news. The new generation of vinyl floors has all the ingredients to resist showing wear and staining.
Now that sheet vinyl is out of the way, let’s talk about LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) and LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks). LVT and LVP flooring are made of several layers of materials that are fused together through heat and pressure. They generally consist of four layers, the first two being a cushioned backing and a high-density core. Next is the all-important vinyl print layer that can now be manufactured with realistic 3D visuals to look just like ceramic, stone and wood. Finally, there is a transparent, protective coating laid on top; then the product can be run under rollers to engrave a texture onto the surface and scraped for an even more realistic finish.
LVP imitates real hardwood flooring species, colors, and textures at a fraction of the cost. Besides affordability, this flooring brings several additional benefits to your home. LVP is waterproof and scratch resistant, so it is a great option for homes with fur babies. Furthermore, the added durability of this floor means it can handle a beating from active toddlers. Not only will it hold up, it will look great while doing it. Cleaning LVP is simple, sweep or vacuum daily and occasionally use a damp mop with warm water. The last great benefit of LVP is ease of installation. These are floors that you can install yourself, further saving on cost. And here at All About Floors we can teach you how to properly install, lend tools, and get you started.
LVT is similar to LVP, but instead of looking like wood it imitates stone and ceramic tile at a much lower cost. It is available in the same colors, patterns, and textures that you will find in stone and tile flooring. Some styles are even made to be installed with grout. LVT retains all the same benefits of LVP in that it is easy to clean and maintain. It is durable and easy to install. LVT is also softer and quieter than actual stone or tile, which is an added benefit for a home with children.
And lastly, what is EVP (Engineered Vinyl Plank)? It’s a segment of Luxury Vinyl Flooring. EVP has an incredibly realistic hardwood look (and feel) and is exceptionally durable. It’s waterproof and has a strong high density fiberboard or PVC core.
Engineered vinyl plank is much thicker than the typical glue down vinyl. It’s usually 8 – 9 mm thick, so it’s similar to an engineered hardwood (or laminate flooring). Like engineered flooring, it’s constructed in layers. The top layer is a clear protective layer – Resists scratching and increases durability. The next layer is the decor layer – Certain premium types of EVP come manufactured with realistic, 3D visuals that can be installed to resemble ceramic or stone. Next up is the vinyl core layer (strong high density fiberboard or PVC core) with waterproof characteristics. The fourth layer is usually a rigid stone-based core which keeps planks extremely stable and aids in hiding subfloor imperfections. And lastly, we have the structural backing layer. This layer absorbs sounds, has a textured grip, and provides some cushioning. (e.g. cork, rubber, etc). EVP is easy to install due to the planks being able to click together, and being thicker. In addition, EVP is usually around the same price as LVP..Linoleum
Linoleum flooring is made from all natural materials, including linseed oil, rosin, broken down wood and others. This is one of linoleum’s highest selling points – all natural without emitting any harmful chemicals. What is linoleum flooring best for? Resiliency – the floor is flexible and has some “give” to it. That makes it possible to install linoleum in areas where harder flooring options like tile and natural hardwood would not do well. Having been around since the 1800s, linoleum is one of the oldest and most classic flooring options on the market.
What are some pros and cons to linoleum? The pros are as follows: Made of natural materials: Linoleum floors consist of a naturally occurring substance called linseed oil, which is extracted from flaxseeds. Linseed oil is then mixed with wood flour, cork dust and other natural and renewable materials. Anti-static properties: Being made of biodegradable material, linoleum floors have a low static resistance. This is especially important for commercial properties where static can be harmful to employees or equipment. Resilient and comfortable underfoot: Linoleum is known for being a resilient floor with a cushioning effect. Resilient and comfortable underfoot: Linoleum is known for being a resilient floor with a cushioning effect. Heat insulating: No need to mess with an underlayment, linoleum flooring rolls will trap in the heat all on their own. Anti-microbial: This material is anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, a great choice for everyone in the home. Long lasting: With proper care and maintenance, linoleum floors can last up to 40 years! Consistent color: Patterns and colors are present throughout the tile or sheet. While this may limit some design options, you won’t have to worry about the color fading.
What are the cons to using linoleum? Susceptible to water damage: If you’re using linoleum in a moisture-prone area, such as a bathroom or kitchen, the floor needs to be sealed periodically. Flooding and even excessive humidity can severely damage linoleum flooring. Maintenance: Linoleum must be sealed one or two times per year. If your floor doesn’t have a coating, linoleum will also need waxing every two or three years. Not DIY-friendly: Installing linoleum flooring requires a professional installer. Since it’s such a stiff material, installing linoleum is not typically a DIY project..Ceramic and Porcelain
Ceramic and Porcelain tiles are often confused with one another. In this section we’ll tackle both and lay out the differences between the two. The main difference is the compositional makeup. Ceramic is made up of a courser clay with a smaller amount of the fine kaolin clay – which is found in Porcelain. Ceramic is also fired at lower temperatures. Usually no more than 1650 degrees Fahrenheit (899 degrees Celsius for our European friends). Porcelain tile is much more dense than ceramic. A special kaolin clay mix is used, which is much finer than and more pure than most ceramic clay. There’s also notable levels of quartz and feldspar incorporated into the mix. Not only that, porcelain tiles are fired at temperatures ranging from 2,200 to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (Again for our European friends that is 1093 to 1371 degrees Celsius). To the customer, just note that porcelain is a dense, fine-grained, smooth tile that is more impervious to water than ordinary ceramic tile.
Porcelain tile virtually always receives a surface glazing treatment — a coating of liquified glass material—while some forms of ceramic tile are left unglazed. As a rule porcelain tile is more impervious than ceramic tile and is thus subject to less water infiltration. Having said that, ceramic is softer than porcelain, meaning porcelain is more brittle than ceramic. Ceramic tile design is usually just one solid color, while porcelain can have many realistic designs imprinted on the tiles (e.g. wood grain, natural stone, etc.).
Maintenance of both porcelain and ceramic are mostly the same. Keep up the grout, seal the grout, but if you have unglazed ceramic tiles you will also have to seal the tile. Porcelain is the more expensive choice. Porcelain tiles range from about $3 a square foot to $35 a square foot. While ceramic tile ranges from about $0.50 a square foot to $35 a square foot. In conclusion, what you pick depends on your needs, and budget..Mosaics and Natural Stone
Before we begin, let’s do a little history lesson. Mosaics are a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly popular in the Ancient Roman world.
Mosaics and the usage of natural stone have a long history, starting in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BCE. Pebble mosaics were made in Tiryns in Mycenaean Greece; mosaics with patterns and pictures became widespread in classical times, both in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Early Christian basilicas from the 4th century onwards were decorated with wall and ceiling mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th centuries. That tradition was then adopted by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in the 12th century, by the eastern-influenced Republic of Venice, and among the Rus in Ukraine. Mosaic fell out of fashion in the Renaissance, though artists like Raphael continued to practice the old technique. Roman and Byzantine influence led Jewish artists to decorate 5th and 6th century synagogues in the Middle East with floor mosaics. Mosaic was widely used on religious buildings and palaces in early Islamic art, including Islam’s first great religious building, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. Mosaic went out of fashion in the Islamic world after the 8th century.
So mosaics and the use of natural stone has been a part of the human race’s culture for millenniums, and it’s still around today. You can create a mosaic out of many different materials. In more modern times companies like Florida Tile specialize in tiles (Ceramic and Porcelain) and mosaics. Some common natural stone flooring includes slate, marble, limestone, travertine, granite, and sandstone—each of which has slightly different properties.
While natural stone is one of the most expensive types of flooring there is, keeping it well maintained, the floor can last the lifetime of the house or office. Some stones can scratch easily and must be sealed regularly to protect it from damage (e.g. marble). However, dark granite tile is very hard and rarely needs to be sealed. To clean use a mild soap solution and should be used when cleaning stone, as some materials can be damaged by harsh household cleansers..Conclusion
We made it! This article is here to give you an overview of some of what is out there. To assist in pointing you in the right direction. There is a lot more to consider, but if you visit us or contact us – one of our very educated associates can help you even more with any questions you may have. Though, now you have enough knowledge to get started and hopefully get your creative juices flowing. Happy remodeling!